Houghton, Calumet go 2-3 in D-1 regional

HOUGHTON – Opportunities to work on the little things in a big setting have been limited during the 2013 track and field season.

Kingsford showed its skill in one of those big ‘little things’ Thursday at the Division 1 regional track meet – relay timing – and took home a championship trophy for its efforts.

The Flivvers won all four relays and the meet with 57 points. Defending champion Houghton was second with 40, followed by Calumet (38), Negaunee (35) and Gwinn (16).

“Coming into the meet, we wanted to make sure we got our relays in and we got all four of them, and they all took first, which was huge,” Kingsford coach Doug Roberts said.

The Flivvers leapfrogged Houghton and Calumet, who finished separated by 1/3 of a point last year, with seven wins, including individual honors for Cole Tengesdahl (100, 11.50 seconds), Jacob Allen (800, 2:10.60), Ryan Camp (pole vault, 11-6), and Hilding Beaudoin (discus, 142-7).

“The kids that are normally around, the staple kids, were there again today,” Roberts said.

For Houghton, a strong second was still a positive outcome.

“I thought we’d get 10 kids in (to U.P. Finals June 1), 15 would be max and we got 14 to Kingsford. We’ll be well-represented there,” Houghton coach Dan Junttila said.

The top four finishers in each event advance to the finals.

Houghton’s strongest area was distance, starting with a come-from-behind win by Spencer Donnelly in the 1,600, as he rallied to nip Keenan Gantz of Negaunee in 4:53.60.

“He ran six seconds off his personal best to get to get to 5:01 in the (Houghton County meet) Tuesday, then he shaves eight seconds off today,” Junttila said.

Jacob Colling finished it off by cruising to the 3,200 title in 10:55.87.

Ryan LaBerge took the long jump with an 18-10 hop for Houghton’s other win.

Calumet won its points on a more vertical plane. Brendan Jacques took the 110 hurdles in 16.45, then got outleaned by teammate Chad Sturos (43.39) in the 300. Tyler Roland added a first in high jump (5-10).

Calumet will have 17 entries at the Finals, with nine coming in hurdles or jumping events.

Negaunee’s Kevin O’Keefe prevailed in the 200 (24.29) with teammate Alex Dempsey winning shot put with a 43-2 1/2 toss.

Gwinn got its win after Kylor Skinner caught Kingsford’s Tyler Roberts and Houghton’s Alex Helman in the last few strides to win by a nose in 53.89.